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Water Scarce Ecosystems A proposal for a UNCCD Policy Framework May 04 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Scarce Ecosystems A proposal for a UNCCD Policy Framework May 04 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Scarce Ecosystems A proposal for a UNCCD Policy Framework May 04 2009

2 Background: Anthropogenic actions put additional pressure to Water Scarcity Water Scarcity is, ‘…the long-term imbalance resulting from increased demand for water exceeding the available supply…’ Anthropogenic pressures have reduced water supply This is a social, economic and environmental issue

3 Water Scarcity results in Environmental and Social Impacts Environmental Impacts: Land degradation Epidemics Social Impacts: Forced migration Armed conflicts Poverty

4 Water Cycle as central element of feedback reinforcing cycles Water Scarcity is closely linked to Climate Change phenomena, Land Degradation and Biodiversity Loss. Water Cycle is at the heart of the 3 Conventions UNFCCC CBD UNCCD

5 Making the Case: There is No universal instrument of Targets / Plans to address Water Scarcity The responsibility to manage water efficiently and equitably STILL DEPENDS on individual countries and on basin agreements

6 Some Examples of Current Activities indirectly addressing Water Scarcity UNFCCC – Current discussions on Post-Kyoto 2012 could be an opportunity UNHCR currently does not favor a refugee status of ‘climate displaced people’ – however this type of migration represents a cost resulting from water scarcity …etc

7 Drivers behind UNCCD action plan Article 2 of the UNCCD Article 4 of the UNCCD The 10 YSP Populations are fully dependant on rain-fed agriculture: 33 TO 41% (DEPENDING ON SOURCES) OF Earth surface is drylands, and 2 billion people living there Populations are already taking action to mitigate the effects of drought Impacts on food security are direct

8 Calling for Action: UNCCD Leadership Intervention and Policy Coherence Water Scarcity is a Universal Problem UNCCD is well positioned to take leadership role in bringing negotiations to forefront UNCCD 3-step process for a policy on water scarcity:  10YSP (Madrid Sep. 2007)  CRIC7 (Istanbul Nov. 2008) and  COP9 (Buenos Aires Sep. 2009)

9 Developing a Policy Framework Addressing Water Scarcity requires: International Policy Coordination International Policy Coordination A policy is a line of argument rationalizing the course of action of government intervention 6 operational action to develop a Water Scarcity Policy 6 operational action to develop a Water Scarcity Policy (a)Creating Common Values and Priorities (b)Promoting Cooperation between Nation States (c) Coordination process and institutions (d) Knowledge Transfer/Education/Capacity building (e)Funding (f) Public relations and awareness building

10 The UNCCD Water Scarcity Policy Framework AIM : To develop a multi-lateral agreement at global scale creating synergies (a) To Create Common Values and Priorities: Sensitizing individuals Bring issues of water scarcity to the attention of the International Community Network/Establish and seek formal relations with CBD, UNFCCC and UN Water.

11 The UNCCD Water Scarcity Policy Framework (b) Promoting Cooperation among countries: Identify and realise an inventory of all relevant existing local/watershed regional initiatives Survey, analyse information on integrated water scarcity adaptation (e.g. NAPs/NAPAs) in order to establish new synergies from national and international sources South-south cooperation fostered

12 The UNCCD Water Scarcity Policy Framework (c) Coordination Process and Institutions: Promote Dialogue for an internationally agreed definition + indicator of ‘Water Scarcity’ that will enable: Common Understanding Address Quantifiable and legally binding targets at global level (d) Knowledge/Transfer Education and Capacity Building:

13 The UNCCD Water Scarcity Policy Framework (e) Funding: Concentrate funds in most vulnerable areas Mobilization of resources: climate change – related, carbon markets Pro-water economic / public policies

14 The UNCCD Water Scarcity (f) Public relations and awareness building: Strengthen support from international partners At G8 or G20 Summits Enhance formal relations with UNCCD + UN Water Enhance formal relations with CBD and UNFCCC NGOs and local communities

15 The right to water Linking water as a food source (right to food) and water as a common good (right to water) is essential for the sustainable development of all living species. The universal right to water is already partially recognized as implicit part of universal human rights, by an adjustment to food and health rights, particularly with specific references to women and children. The United Nations bodies dealing with Human Rights, as well as laws at national and local level, recognized the right to water as an implicit content of some other human rights. The right to water is taken into account in a large number of international conferences, documents, declarations or in other legal and political instruments. Yet it is recognized by less than 10 national Constitutions under different perspectives, as well as “by law” in a lot of other Countries. The right to water could be implemented at watershed level.

16 Special elements for the Policy Proposal on water scarcity Global Policy Frameworks, should ideally have strong political will and enforcement (or self- enforcement) mechanisms to enable a long term sustainable and cooperative policy. Fostering water scarce indicators such as ‘soil moisture’ or ‘Water Use Index’. The issue of baselines still need to be further considered. Key aspect of the forthcoming UNCCD policy on water scarcity: The recognition of the significant impact that women play in mitigating water scarcity, especially in most vulnerable regions.

17 THANK YOU Policy proposal can be found at WWW.UNCCD.INT

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